The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

I guess the Tea Party isn’t finished

Every time I write about the Tea Party, I note that they have power because they are feared: they can win primaries.

Every time I write about the Tea Part progressives tell me that they’re finished, they’re past the peak of their power, blah, blah, blah.

They just defeated Eric Cantor.

This is why the Tea Party has power.

It is not even conceivable that progressives could do the same to Nancy Pelosi despite the fact that she has often betrayed progressive interests.

Tea partiers are willing to vote their values.  Their values may mostly be retrograde, but they vote them.  As a result, they have power.

Reports of the Tea Party’s death were premature.


American Society is Pathological


When the terrorists treat you better than the government


  1. Mary McCurnin

    and, apparently, the idiot dims don’t have a nominee. geez.

  2. Mary McCurnin

    nope, I was wrong. The dims fielded someone last week when they saw how close the race was.

    Jack Trammell’s the Dem nominee, picked last night by the VA07 Dems just in case something like this happened.

    Dems encouraged democrats to cross over and vote out Canter.

  3. Joyce L. Arnold

    Just to say, you are so on target with this. Thanks for thoughtful writing.

  4. jcapan

    Avedon linked to this long piece earlier by David Sirota on the WFP’s success in (mainly) NY. Any thoughts?

  5. kj001313

    Doesn’t Virginia have open primaries? If it does it sounds like the Dems helped push Brat to victory.

  6. Celsius 233

    I lost hope years ago; now I just saw (I think, not sure) a flicker of light.
    Brat spent 200k against Cantor’s millions; that’s significant.
    We’ll see…

  7. Syd

    Doesn’t Virginia have open primaries? If it does it sounds like the Dems helped push Brat to victory.

    So the Dems ratf*cked Cantor, thereby putting the final nail in the coffin of immigration reform. I’m not sure I like this strategy.

    OTOH, this will make it impossible for Obama to sell us out after the midterms.

  8. NotTimothyGeithner

    Since the Dims managed to lose the State Senate, this is closer to Dims claiming credit for anything to show they aren’t completely irrelevant.

    I think the Tea Party is bad framing for this phenomenon. The Tea Party was the astro-turf attempt to control GOP voters who aren’t as loyal to the GOP blue bloods as the GOP shadow elite would like or as is commonly understood. The protoBaggers voted for Reagan in 76 and 80. They danced with Perot. Newt organized them and recruited them for Congress, and this divide was ignored during the W years because W could bridge the gap as an alcoholic, religious nut with the right Nazi supporting pedigree. They loved W because he was a moron mocked by readin’ types like them. The love for Palin, who was obviously stupid right away and an Alaskan GOP outsider who rose to Lt. Gov. due to a scandal, was a sign the protoBaggers were not necessarily on the reservation. Romney was the Governor of Taxachussetts. The GOP needed to rehabilitate Boston to get their guy past the voters who called Kerry every name imaginable. The Tea Party was created to diffuse the source of the Palin love and to make sure the GOP was seen as the home for this group.

    Last night was more about cracks in the Southern strategy than anything else. They still hate Dims who treat them like idiots and run do nothing campaigns, but the Bushes of vacationing in Maine and the idiots at Liberty University are not natural allies.

  9. wendyedavis

    My favorite fdl Dem believes that Cantor’s loss was all down to Dem Strategery. 69 comments, but crikey, I didn’t know the commentariat was even that large by now. They’ve jettisoned the Site Meter, so… (No, I didn’t read past the first paragraph or two.) (smile)

    Cooters frum Hooters?

  10. Trixie

    Nosing around in the archives, I’ve just been Warstler-ed. ON THIS SITE. Because really? No, REALLY?

    I demand an apology.

    (stomps away)

  11. Ian Welsh


    Last time I checked site-meter, about 9 months ago, FDL was down to about 40K pageviews a day. When I left, it was at 110 or so.

    PW hates me with a sickening passion.

  12. wendyedavis

    Me, too. Who’s Trixie, and re: Wartzler: not even urban dictionary recognizes it. But someone linked to this piece about dark money and Bratt. Beats me, the whole thing is just made for prime time, eh?

    OTOH, boththe worthiness of voting and the golden days of blogging seem to over.

  13. Jerome Armstrong

    By another name, radical populism is probably just getting started.

  14. BlizzardOfOz

    “All the investment banks up in New York and D.C., whatever, those guys should have gone to jail. Instead of going to jail, where’d they go? They went on to Eric’s Rolodex,” Brat said to an eruption of loud laughter in Mechanicsville. “And that’s where they all are and they’re sending him big checks.”

    Obama is a Wall Street puppet, and most purportedly “left” organizations are Obama shills. Meanwhile, the last thing the country needs is millions more unskilled workers, but the unholy alliance of establishment Democrats (to elect a new people to vote for their Wall Street candidates) and the Chamber of Commerce (to put even more downward pressure on wages) are pushing for just that.

  15. @jcapan
    Better articles than Sirota who still thinks you can change the Democratic Party from within.
    and John Halle:

    The Working Families Party sounds like yet another entrance into the roach motel that is the Democratic Party. We need a Labor Party, not a working party that endorses Third Way neo liberal candidates like Cuomo. This is so Groundhog Day!

  16. S Brennan

    I’m not disagreeing with your analysis Ian, but this guy was singing a couple of populous tunes.

    Anti-Mega bank bebop


    Immigrants lower your wage western.

    Now I know, it’s accepted dogma among liberal elites that an ever expanding labor pool in combination with an ever tighter job market is a good thing…but trust me on this, the overwhelming majority of Americans feel immigration should only occur when their is wild wage inflation over a sustained period of time.

    And yes, I know, everybody who has seen their real wages go down during the last four decades…and makes the connection to a population that is 50% bigger, is just a racist. Because according to liberal elites, oversupply of labor and not enough jobs actually increases the wage employers are will to pay. And highly stressed people who are economically pinched are much more likely to vote for generous policies…oh, and let’s shoehorn a Pony in this fable.

  17. Ian Welsh

    The Tea Party has generally been anti-bailout.

  18. jcapan


    Yeah, I read the Jacobin piece Sirota linked to and know his history and the history of such efforts. What’s great about the Tea Party is how fucking merciless they are. Something the left can never seem to get their heads around.

  19. Before dismissing the Tea Party as a bunch of loons (which they are not) it it worth having a look at their core values and motivation.
    You will notice that they are not a million miles from what drives the Occupy movement.

  20. Nathanael

    It isn’t the Tea Party which is dying. It’s the Republican Party.

    The collapse of the Whigs in the 1850s is relevant here. The Whigs successfully eliminated the anti-slavery voices in the party, with the extremist pro-slavery Whigs taking over the party completely. The Whig party promptly collapsed. The extremist pro-slavery forces were still powerful, of course; they started the Civil War.

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